PESTLE Analysis for Schools or Education

A PESTLE analysis is a tool that can provide prompts to the governors, management and staff involved in the analysis of the changes in the school’s environment that could impact future finance, planning and management decisions. It can enable them carry out a more comprehensive analysis.  

A PESTLE is usually used in commercial organisations as a part of the strategic development of a business and marketing plan, however a PESTLE analysis can be used as part of identifying the opportunities and threats (swOT) for operational planning within educational and school environments.

The PESTLE provides a simple framework within which to consider external factors. 
PESTLE is used as part of a SWOT for identifying the external factors (OT)

 

 

 

Political
  • Schools being privatised (like the NHS)
  • A government initiative creates the risk that the school may fail to deliver the policy or be diverted away from local priorities etc.
  • Changes to the skills required to be a teacher/ tutor
  • Changes to curriculum with short lead times
  • Requirement to be self managing
  • Requirement to be self financing
Economic
  • Central or local government funding decisions may affect school/ establishment finances
  • Closure of a local industry may affect fund raising plans etc.
  • Ability of parents to raise funds for optional activities
  • The need to run breakfast/ after schools clubs
  • Ability to invest ‘savings/ surpluses’
  • Cost of providing resources:
    • Staff – teaching & support
    • Basics – books/ paper
    • Technology solutions laptops etc
  • Interest rates
  • Shortages of materials on national/ international markets
  • Over provision of school places in the area resulting in competition from neighbouring schools
  • The risk of highly valued, key staff moving on to more ‘up and coming’ schools/ academies
Social
  • Decline in birth rate, reflecting national trends
  • Local population changes (increasing/ decreasing numbers)
  • Demographic changes may affect likely pupil rolls or the nature of pupils needs e.g. pupils with English as a second language etc.
  • Closure of local firms providing employment
  • Inability to attract staff
  • Social networking – blogs, facebook, twitter
  • Changes to qualifications expected
  • Integration with local community
  • Integration of students with special needs
  • parental preference – an increase in ‘parent power’ has allowed parents more freedom of choice over their child’s school
  • the risk of highly valued, key staff moving on to more up-and-coming establishments
  • Information is accessible to staff anywhere in the world via the Internet
  • Staff were not given enough training or access to effectively change their habits and how they expected information to be made available
Technological
  • Changes to standards/ equipment required
  • Risk of selecting the wrong technology at times of change (i.e. windows -v- open source)
  • New computer viruses may affect school/ college operations,
  • Disturbing/ illegal images on the internet may affect ICT security measures etc.
  • Move from paper based books to e-book readers
  • Computer hardware being out of date
  • Computer software being out of date
  • Time to manage IT systems

 

Legislative
  • new legislation may create risks of non-compliance with the law, create new administrative burdens etc
  • Changes to child protection legislation
  • Raise the age of school leaving age
  • Raise/ lower the age of starting school. Nursery/ kindergarten
  • Change to school opening hours
  • Changes to funding of charity based organisations
  • Health & safety legislation
Environmental
  • A new highway layout near the school may create new dangers for pupils etc
  • Waste disposal
  • Reduction of green space available for activities
  • Changes to local bus routes
  • Using a significant amounts of paper and photocopier toner to produce printed information.

For a more comprehensive PESTLE article see our pain page.

A PESTLE Template:

Area being reviewed Factor: Is factor positive or negative?
Political
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

P – N
P – N
P – N
P – N

Economic
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

P – N
P – N
P – N
P – N

 

Social
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

P – N
P – N
P – N
P – N

 

Technological
  •  
  •  
  •  

P – N
P – N
P – N
P – N

 

Legislative
  •  

P – N
P – N
P – N
P – N

 

Environmental
  •  
  •  

P – N
P – N
P – N
P – N

 

Remember this is only a tool. Call it what you like – use whatever factors you feel are appropriate.  Other variations include:

  • PEST analysis (STEP analysis) - Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological
  • PESTLE/ PESTEL analysis- Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal, Environmental
  • PESTEL analysis- Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Environmental, Labour (Labor) related
  • PESTLIED analysis- Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, International, Environmental, Demographic
  • STEEPLE analysis – Social/Demographic, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political, Legal, Ethical
  • SLEPT analysis – Social, Legal, Economic, Political, Technological
  • STEPE analysisSocial, Technical, Economic, Political, and Ecological
  • ETPS analysisEconomic, Technical, Political and Social – Scanning the organizational environment

Choose the acronym that most suits you or your organization.

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About Mike Morrison

Mike Morrison is a consultant and change agent specialising in developing skills in senior people to increase organizational performance.
Mike is also founder & director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy.

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  1. [...] to the issue being explored) buy into this objective or goal.Then undertake a PESTLE analysis (or PESTLE in Schools), this will provide you with the external factors (OT).Use the PRIMO-F model to ensure all internal [...]

  2. [...] to the issue being explored) buy into this objective or goal.Then undertake a PESTLE analysis (or PESTLE in Clinics), this will provide you with the external factors (OT).Use the PRIMO-F model to ensure all internal [...]

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